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18.08.2004 General News

Measures needed to detect harmful drugs

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Accra, Aug. 18, GNA - Regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical companies were on Wednesday urged to put up measures that would facilitate the detection of products of doubtful quality on the market. Mr Awuku Kwatia, Registrar of the Pharmacy Council, said drug regulation was a public policy that restricted private sector activities to attain social goals set to ensure safety, efficacy and quality of pharmaceutical products.

Mr Kwatia was speaking at a day's collaborative seminar for the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) and the Pharmacy Council in Accra on the monitoring of pharmacies, chemical, herbal and veterinary shops. It is on the theme: Effective Monitoring to Ensure Quality Products on the Pharmaceutical Market - The Role of the Regulatory Agencies.

Mr Kwatia said: "The quality of drugs cannot be compromised by any regulatory agency since unlike other consumer goods, they are crucial to meeting the important objective of improving Public Health." He noted that access to efficacious pharmaceuticals couldn't be achieved if the quality of products and services did not meet established standards.

Monitoring should be a continuous activity with the aim of ensuring that personnel were practising within acceptable standards, Mr Kwatia said.

He noted that Pharmacists in particular were well positioned to play a crucial role in ensuring the supply of good quality product and urged regulatory agencies to educate them to change their attitude. He called on the participants to deliberate on the implications of poor quality products that led to drug resistance, which in some instances could lead to death and thus posing a growing threat to Public Health.

Mr Emmanuel Agyarko, Chief Executive of FBD, said Reports from Post Market Surveillance (PMS) activities indicated poor storage practices, which obviously affected product quality.

"Additionally, gaps exist in the regulatory processes where FDB inspected licences of manufacturing sites and where Pharmacy Council inspected wholesale and retail outlets," he said.

The seminar, he said, was to gather and obtain updated information on products quality monitoring and to design a road map to effectively and practically monitor pharmaceutical product in the distribution chain.

It is also to pen down Standard Operative Procedures (SOP) for effective collaborative link between the two institutions and to share ideas on mutual concerns in regulating the industry.

He entreated the participants to look at the problem of effective monitoring very critically and consider their individual roles to ensure the health and safety of consumers.

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